Your teenage years are when you grow the most; you may even sprout several centimetres in less than a year! As your body is primed for development, you need to ensure your body receives optimum nutrition.

Healthy Eating Promotes Growth

Eating a well-balanced diet comprising of carbohydrates, proteins, fruits and vegetables may help you achieve your full potential in developing healthy bones and muscles. To achieve optimal bone strength, eat a well-balanced diet using the My Healthy Plate as your guide.

Healthy Weight Range for Teens

A healthy body weight leads to better health into adulthood with a lower risk of chronic lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and heart diseases and other health risks. Studies have shown that a balanced diet and regular physical activity have been linked to an increase in healthy weight children, with carry-over effects that can persist into adulthood. 

Healthy Eating Habits and Healthy Food for Teens

Fruits and vegetables are healthy foods for teenagers.

Healthy meals provide your bones and muscles with the nutrition that you need to grow. Make your own sandwiches or pizzas at home using wholegrain bread or wrap, lean meat, fresh vegetables and low-fat cheese. Eat more vegetables and fruits at home, since meals served outside often lack these.

Related: How to Eat Right to Feel Right

Healthy Living for Teenagers

Healthy eating and regular physical activities will help you maintain a healthy weight range.

Nowadays, people eat out more often due to longer school hours and a large variety of food options available. But you are still in control of your food choices, so choose wisely!

Those who eat fast food regularly are more likely to be overweight or obese as opposed to people who eat it occasionally. This is also true for sweetened drinks, sweets, chips, crackers, fried food and other processed foods. They are often high in calories, fat — especially saturated fat — and sugar, and are a poor source of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that teenagers need for healthy growth.

Here are some tips for you when you do eat out.

  • Resist temptation
    One way to resist food temptations is to think before you buy. Giving yourself a moment to reconsider it rather than caving in immediately, can help to curb the craving and in turn, help you maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI).
  • Fast food
    If you eat fast food, choose healthier items from the menu. Don’t “upsize your meal” unless you are sharing it. Opt for grilled meat instead of deep-fried patties and replace french fries with a fruit or salad.
  • Drinks
    For drinks, water is the best. Stay away from vending machines or bubble tea outlets as sugary beverages add empty calories. If you need a chilled refreshment, head for the water cooler instead of drinking beverages with added sugar.
  • Dessert
    Even though an occasional dessert won’t hurt, developing a sweet tooth is a habit that will stick! If you feel the sugar craving calling out to you, pick a healthier dessert such as fruit or low-fat yogurt.
  • Snacking
    One way to lower your calorie intake is to eat proper meals and avoid snacking. If you really need to fuel up in between meals, pick healthier snacks such as nuts or fruit. Try not to have supper before bedtime. If necessary, have a glass of warm, low-fat milk instead.

Related: Getting the Fats Right!

Physical Activity for Teens

Partaking in moderate to vigorous physical activities will reduce health risks.

For a healthy mental and physical development, engage in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic physical activity every day. Regular physical activity can improve your mood, cognitive functions and academic outcomes, cardiorespiratory, muscular fitness, and may even help with your skin. Find tips to start exercising here. A simple way to start is to incorporate active travel into your weekly routine, joining a sports team/club and/or taking frequent movement breaks throughout the day.

Learn how you can move while watching TV, here. Don’t let your handphone, tablet or PC turn you into a screen zombie! Give your eyes and mind a break by engaging in outdoor physical activities such as jogging around your neighbourhood or get in a few repetitions with the equipment at the fitness corner.

For your next outing, consider different types of physical activities to do with your friends or family such as cycling or playing badminton. You may even consider joining the fitness programmes available on the Healthy 365 app for some outdoor fun and a workout.

Download the HealthHub app on Google Play or Apple Store to access more health and wellness advice at your fingertips.

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